Italian Inter Milan defender Alessandro Bastoni has revealed how his team will deal with Manchester City striker Erling Haaland in the Champions League final.
The two teams are scheduled to meet next Saturday in the final of the current edition of the Champions League at the "Ataturk Olympic Stadium" in Istanbul, Turkey.
Bastoni confirmed that his team watched the match between Real Madrid and Manchester City in the first leg of the semi-final, which ended in a draw with a goal for the same, and saw how German defender Antonio Rudiger succeeded in reducing the danger of Haaland.
Bastoni plans to follow Rudiger's lead in the final.
"I watched how Rüdiger played against Haaland, we'll try to imitate that." pic.twitter.com/ywSH7sxLVp
— Footy Accumulators (@FootyAccums) June 5, 2023
Bastoni explained, in remarks highlighted by the newspaper "Daily Mail" (Daily Mail) Britain, "Haaland says: Manchester City contracted him in order to win the Champions League, and this tells us everything, but it is about Manchester City against Inter, not Haaland against Inter."
"I watched the video footage of Rudiger in the semi-finals and how he managed to contain Haaland, maybe this is a successful example that we can use, we will try to do the same."
Haaland is the top scorer in the competition this season with 12 goals, and is 4 goals away from his closest pursuers, Egyptian Mohamed Salah, the star of Liverpool.
Asked if Inter's players were afraid of facing Manchester City, Bastoni replied: "In fact we should only be afraid of murderers and bad guys and not footballers."
🗣️ Bastoni: "I have been watching videos of Rüdiger vs Haaland." pic.twitter.com/Cmibj12ZkN
— Madrid Xtra (@MadridXtra) June 6, 2023
"So to say that we are afraid is a serious mistake, we have to be as brave as possible, we know that City are a strong team and can cause us a lot of problems whenever we get closer to goal, but we will analyse all these things and we will work to prepare for all scenarios," Bastoni said.
Bastoni's team-mate Federico DiMarco believes the biggest pressure will be on Manchester City as favourites to win the competition.
"We dream of winning the Champions League but for Manchester City it is an obsession," Dimarco said.
Inter have already won the title of the most glorious European Championships on 3 previous occasions in the seasons 1963-1964, 1964-1965, and most recently in 2009-2010.
As for Manchester City, it seeks to win its first title in the "ears", knowing that it reached the final once before, in the 2020-2021 season, and lost it to compatriot Chelsea with a clean goal.
This is the first official clash between the two teams.